If herbs are the medicines of both landscapes and cultures, a cup of Rasa is truly a global experience. The 50 botanicals we source for Rasa blends come from over 15 different countries around the world. From China to Jordan, Thailand to South Africa, we are cultivating a network of care, healing, and appreciation. Longterm trusting relationships are the key to this network and we want to share a few stories of these ingredients and partnerships with you.
Honduran coffee One of the cooperatives our coffee comes from is Cooperativa Cafetalera Sanmarqueña in Honduras. The co-op is made up of 106 organic farmers that work together to produce high quality coffee while protecting the environment and improving their lives and the lives of those in their community. The farms are all located on the Botija ridge, a mountain area in southern Honduras near the Nicaraguan border. In addition to being Fair Trade certified, the coffee we use from this cooperative is exclusively purchased from women-produced lots. This supports projects to empower women and creates additional opportunities in an industry that often excludes women from leadership and ownership.
Ecuadorian cacao Archeologists have traced the origins of cacao to Ecuador, with evidence of domestication first appearing over 5000 years ago! Our heirloom Nacional cacao comes from the Coca River in southern Ecuador. The river winds through a veritable rainforest paradise until it meets the Amazon river. Our cacao is grown in the black soil of this rainforest valley, and produces a bold and deeply chocolaty bean, which is then medium-roasted to our exact specifications to ensure a perfect pairing with our herbs.
French chicory Our chicory supplier near the Northern tip of France has been growing and processing chicory for more than 150 years. Though the roots have been used for food and medicine for millennia, its popularity as a coffee substitute is the result of the napoleonic wars in the early 1800s. As blockades made coffee scarce, roasted chicory was blended with coffee to make it stretch.
Roasted Date Seed Roasted date seed ‘coffee’ has been a Middle Eastern staple for thousands of years and may even predate the discovery of actual coffee! Our decadent date seeds are from the country of Jordan, where our supplier meticulously roasts and blends only 3 specific varieties of dates, choosing these varieties out of the 3000 total possibilities for their depth of flavor. We’re proud to be supporting their organic certification and hope to have the roasted date seed in Calm organic certified by early 2022.
Ben LeVine is the Chief Herbalist and Co-Founder at Rasa. As an herbalist, he develops new products, sources organic and sustainable herbs, and promotes herbal education. He was previously a senior herb buyer for Celestial Seasonings. Ben's education includes a Masters in Clinical Herbalism from Maryland University of Integrative Health and time studying at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism, where he currently guest lectures.